A Canadian trucker's actions at the scene of a snowmobile accident earned her recognition from a national organization recently.
The Truckload Carriers Association named truck driver Dawna Jacobsen, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a 12-year-old boy who drove his snowmobile across the highway and was hit by a car. Jacobsen drives for Erb Transport, Ltd out of New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada.
On Dec. 15, 2022 around 6 p.m., Jacobsen was driving on Highway 11 in Northern Ontario, just west of Kapuskasing.
“I saw something coming toward me, I saw lights that were not from the cars, and I just knew something wasn’t right,” she said. “I slowed down, put my flashers on and pulled over to not get hit by what I thought was a large box — it turned out to be a Ski-doo (snowmobile) coming at me.”
Realizing there was someone on the road, Jacobsen then saw an injured 12-year-old boy. She immediately called 911. His legs were mangled, she said. Two men stopped their vehicles to help and tended to the injured boy while she communicated with the emergency responders, answering questions and relaying information. The ambulance arrived within 15 minutes.
Eventually, she gave the officers the video footage from her truck to help. Jacobsen happened to be the first at the incident. Recognizing a pickup truck suddenly stopping and the strange lights in the distance, she immediately took the right steps to slow down and stop. This protected the boy from sustaining any further injuries and signaled something had happened to a southbound truck, which was able to stop before running over the young snowmobiler. It turned out the boy was with several of his friends traveling on snowmobiles, and the others had crossed the highway, but this boy didn’t make it across in time. He was hit by a car and seriously injured.
The next day Dawna spoke to Tom Boehler, Erb Transport's senior director of safety and compliance, he reviewed and studied the footage captured on the dashcam. Boehler said by all counts of the video if she had not taken the maneuver to the right, the oncoming truck heading east would have driven over the boy. When he saw her pull over and stop, he stopped as well as all other traffic; it was a busy road.
“We are grateful and honored to have a professional and alert driver like Dawna on our team,” said Sheldon Wheeler, a spokesperson for Erb Transport. “Her ability to recognize potential danger and to react appropriately helped save a young boy’s life.”